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Holistic Wealth

Minimalist Budget: Saving Money Through Sustainable Living

In a world dominated by consumerism and the constant pursuit of more, the concepts of minimalism and budgeting hold the promise as powerful antidotes. By embracing minimalism, we simplify our lives, let go of excess and focus on what truly matters. On the other hand, budgeting provides a roadmap for financial stability and empowers us to make intentional choices with our money. Combining these two practices—minimalism and budgeting—creates a potent synergy that leads not only to more financial freedom but also to a sustainable and fulfilling way of life.

What Is Minimalism?

Minimalism is a lifestyle philosophy that advocates for simplifying one’s possessions, priorities, and overall approach to life. It encourages individuals to consciously declutter their physical spaces, eliminate unnecessary belongings, and focus on what truly brings value and meaning to their lives.

In this manner, your life becomes lighter and more simplified. No more clutter you really don’t need or even want, and no more pressure to buy anything just for the sake of it. Instead, say hello to clean and open spaces in your home, and to the freedom and potential that comes with it.

What Does Budgeting Have to Do with It?

It’s simple, really. Budgeting allows you to spend money on the things you already have decided that you should spend money on. It gives you a snapshot of the months ahead, and it makes the decicion-making so much easier.

If you budget well, you will know where every penny is supposed to go. This goes hand in hand with the minimalist lifestyle, where your focus is to only spend money on what brings value and meaning to your life and let the rest of it be.

minimalist budget financial freedom

What Are the Benefits of a Minimalist Budget?

One of the many benefits of a minimalist budget is that you will achieve peace of mind. Knowing where all your money is going and that they are going to wonderful things, creates a sense that your life going in the right direction. It facilitates a feeling of possibilities where there used to be stress, and stress management is good for your health.

A minimalist budget is also good for the environment, in that you stop buying the things that you really can do without. This saves resources, all the way from growing or producing the raw materials to disposing of them again in the end of the line. These resources could then be used in a better way, or given back to the planet and her eco-systems. This is why many who embrace natural living also loves this philosophy. A minimalist budget helps them reach their goals when it comes to sustainable living.

And lastly, a minimalist budget will help you achieve financial freedom. If you earn more money than you spend over a period of time, you will end up with a nice sum of savings. Frugal living will help your savings grow every month, and you can then invest part of these savings or use them to create a passive income further down the line.

How to Set up a Minimalist Budget

Start by taking a look at where you are now. How do you spend your money? What are you buying? Go through the last three to six months and look at all your expenses.

Divide all your expenses into categories that make sense to you, like clothing, beauty, education, entertainment and so on. Sum up all the expenses in each category by month, and evaluate the results from there.

Does anything stand out as unnecessary? Mark those expenses in red.

How about the expenses that actually brought you value of some kind? Mark those in green.

(The ones that are plain boring but still a necessity can be marked in orange, but we’ll leave those for now.)

Focus on the red expenses and sum those up. This is how much money you have spent on creating stress and clutter for yourself. Remove this sum from the overall category sum, and you’ll see how much you really needed to spend in this department.

Repeat with each category and each month. In the end, you can sum up what you needed to spend each month, and again divide this by the amount of months you have analyzed. This will give you an average sum to budget for.

Make sure you go through all the grocery receipts too, if you have them. How many sugary beverages and candy did you spend money on? How much greens, fruits and nuts did you get?

In the end, you will have a sheet in front of you with your own personalized, minimalist budget. Let this be your own roadmap for the the financial months ahead.

minimalist budget glass jar

Some Frugal Living Techniques

We have been taught to believe that cheaper is better when it comes to living on a budget, right? Well, this is a truth that may not hold up when you start to look at it.

Most of the time, you get what you pay for, and cheap things tend to break after just a short while. Then they will have to be replaced, and you will have to spend the same amount of money all over again. And again. And again. Ad nauseum. This is called planned obsolescence.

If you buy more expensive things of a better quality, however, you may get to keep those things for years and years before they wear out. In that time, you will have saved all the money you didn’t have to spend on replacements. Not only that, but you will also have saved the planet from the cost of producing, shipping and disposing of them.

This is why it’s better to save up for a few months before you go shopping. If you did the exercise above and budgeted for your monthly average, you could do a few non-shopping months, save up, and then go quality shopping for a few hand-picked items instead. Look for timeless treasures!

Another frugal and sustainable living technique is to embrace staycations or reuse what you have. Glass containers could be used to store food, for instance, but they could also be used to hold your reusable cotton pads on the bathroom. Or the pens on your desk. Or the decorations in your living room. Anything, really. Buy them once, and they will serve you an unlimited number of times.

You could also cut your expenses dramatically by meal planning and cooking at home. By planning your meals in advance, you can carefully choose budget-friendly ingredients and avoid unnecessary trips to the grocery store. This not only helps you stay within your food budget but also reduces the temptation to dine out or order takeout, which can quickly add up.

Finding the Perfect Balance

Once you start living by your minimalist budget and fall in love with even more frugal life hacks, you may notice that you have more money and more time on your hands. Now let’s start looking at what you can create from these empty spaces in your life.

You’re not meant to save only to be saving, just as you’re no longer spending just to spend. Being a financial anorectic is just as bad for you as being a financial overeater. Look for the middle ground.

Go back to your monthly spendings and look at the expenses that really brought you value the last few months. These are the kind of things you can start doing more of now that you have freed up some resources. You can go to more concerts, maybe, or go on more road trips.

Maybe you will find that your preferences are starting to change, and that you now value experiences and relations more than things. Maybe you’re also getting a better sense of who you are and what you want to do with your life. These are all common side effects of sustainable living and the peace that comes with it.

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